2014 Christmas Recommends/Historical, Part 1!

Here are some Historical Christmas reads that I think you may like, and this post will be in two or three parts because I just can’t get enough of my regency, victorian or medieval stories.

‘Knight of Christmas’ by Karyn Gerrard

koc kgSTORY: Christmas is the last thing on Brandon Knight’s mind when he returns to his hometown after ten years away. Arriving in time for his foe Viscount Ravenhurst’s funeral, his plans of vengeance are now thwarted. Instead he focuses retribution on the lovely widow Lady Angeline. They share a debauched, painful past though a fiery passion had grown from their brief time together. Broken hearts were left in the wake of their desire.

Angeline feels nothing inside. After suffering a devastating loss and a horrible marriage, she and her son are now destitute. Bran steps forward with an outrageous offer and Angeline has no choice but to accept.

Bran will have to surrender his plans for revenge to help bring Angeline back to life. The attraction still sizzles between them. They once loved each other but doubt they are able to do so again. However, it’s Christmas and anything is possible.

REVIEW: I need to start this review with letting you all know that this is being sold as an erotica novella and I usually don’t read erotica, unless it’s written by Monica Burns or Karyn Gerrard. The reason behind reading it from these two authors only is because while they do write explicit romance scenes, they somehow manage to wrap them up so well as sweet and sensual to a degree that the ‘eroticism’ is over my head because everything else in their stories is so well written that I do not mind the explicitness.

This story is a wonderful telling of second chance in love for our hero and heroine and I loved their determination to overcome the past and their misconceptions of that past, to accept each other and take a second chance at love not many people get.

I’m not going to go too much into the plot because the story is short but my heart was breaking as I read about the past of our two protagonists and the pain they were put through by some very evil people.

Ms. Gerrard is one of the few authors out there today that doesn’t shy away or waters down the writing when it comes to telling a tale of a tortured hero/heroine. Yet reading her prose, you can’t help but be in the moment or a setting she writes about.

I couldn’t help and see, smell and feel this place …

In the corner of the room stood the huge Christmas tree he and Peter selected. The tree was so large its tip brushed the eight-foot ceiling. He could see the love and care taken in decorating it. Gold-painted pinecones dangled from the branches and garlands of popcorn circled the tree. Cherries and holly barriers were clustered together in the boughs. Tiny frosted cakes were also used as hanging decorations as well as silver foil and red ribbon.

At the top of the tree perched an angelic fairy decked out in lace and gold. Lit beeswax candles were on nearly every branch and Reilly the footman stood nearby to ensure the candles did not set the tree alight. Colorful wrapped presents sat on the floor in front of the tree. Snow gently fell over the town. Gas lights cast a magical glow on the cobblestone street.

It was quiet now, and he could no longer hear the lusty singing of the carolers. A carriage went by, the horse’s hooves clopping on the stones. In the distance the peal of church bells rang out in the still, frosty air.

Regardless of the genre, I highly recommend this story to all of you that believe in second chances and miracles of Christmas season.

‘I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm’ by Kelly Bowen

igmdtkmw kbSTORY: Where Secrets Smolder…

Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele “disappeared.” Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele’s carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.

…Passion Ignites.

This isn’t the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?

REVIEW: I chose this book because of the title [I’m a huge Dean Martin fan and love his “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” song] but it’s the wonderful writing that kept me glued to this story.

This is apparently a debut novel, although I couldn’t tell by reading it. Just a quick aside that if you’re a fan of Julia Quinn, no doubt in my mind you’ll become a fan of Kelly Bowen. There’s a lot happening in this tale that will keep you on your toes and have you biting your nails.

If you like strong willed, smart and witty heroines, than this book is for you. If you’re into heroes that are hiding their Alpha under their Beta, then you’ve only to read about this man. If you’re like me and appreciate a fast moving plot filled with suspense throughout the story, than you just gotta read this story!

‘The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation’ by Erica Ridley

tvct erSTORY: Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fête of the year because he hasn’t time for silly soirees. He doesn’t need time—he needs her!

When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family’s annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia’s guerrilla tactics, he’s up to his cravat with tinsel . . . and tumbling head over heels in love.

REVIEW: I love it when authors gift their fans with free prequels to a brand new series and this one is laugh out loud entertaining and a perfect set up for Erica Ridley’s new Dukes of War regency romance series!

For a short [only 148 pages] novella, this packs a powerful punch with its clever plot and even cleverer duo, Lady Amelia and Lord Benedict [why do I picture Benedict Cumberbatch every time I picture the hero?].

The story is fast-moving and the dialogue and situations where our couple finds themselves are well written and the romance that quickly develops between the two, sweet and believable.

Highly recommending it to all that love strong characterization, witty dialogue and fast paced well written story. This FREE novella makes for a great introduction to this author, so please get it while it’s still FREE!

Here is The Dukes of War series order:

The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation (#0.5) FREE!

The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower (#1) [Connie’s review here]

The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress (#2)

Melanie for b2b

Complimentary copies provided by the publisher

‘My Vampire Cover Model’ by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: Life changed for Deanna Brooks the night she attended a book signing for her aunt’s best-selling paranormal romance series. There she met Burney ‘The Cover God’ Sheridan. The model for the series’ fictional vampire hero, Burn is beyond handsome and has an overabundance of Irish charm. He’s too good to be true.

Burn Sheridan, a man with scores of past lives, has a secret: he is a vampire. Meeting Deanna is agony because for the first time in over two hundred years, Burn experiences the rarest of vampiric needs—the mate-of-the-soul connection. Keeping people at a distance has been Burn’s existence for centuries, but Deanna makes his pledge of staying detached impossible.

Many obstacles lie ahead and the biggest of all may be Burn himself. Can Deanna and Burn overcome them and find lasting love?

REVIEW: What would our Halloween posting be without a review of some good ol’ paranormal romance?!

Karyn Gerrard‘s  ‘My Vampire Cover Model’ is such a great little novella, its perfect for this time of year!

You can grab a nice hot cup of coffee or warm apple cider and have a seat and an hour later you have read the entire book and it’s a great little break!

‘My Vampire Cover Model’ is a fun, fast paced, fluffy vampire novella.  It’s cute, engaging and altogether a pretty fun read.  Burney or Burn (LOVE the name) is our vampire hero who changes his identity occasionally to not become detected as a vampire.

For this particular moment in time he is none other than a romance novel cover model for a series of paranormal vampire stories…..very clever if I do say so myself. :)  While at a book signing with the author of the series of books he models for, he finds instant attraction, love at first sight, if you will, with none other than the author’s niece!

Deana is lonely and unaware of the stir she has caused in Burn when she first meets him.  See, he knows who she is to him but she certainly doesn’t. The chemistry between Burn and Dean is instantaneous and doesn’t keep the readers waiting long to combust.  It’s fun and its sexy; its great reading material for all us Paranormal fans!

If you are looking for a good, quick read that is not heavily laden with angst and misunderstandings this is the one for you!

Kristal for b2b

‘Heart of Rock’ by Karyn Gerrard Giveaway

STORY: Irishman Brogan Byrne is at the pinnacle of rock music success in 1974. Handsome, charismatic, with a three-octave voice, you’d think he had it all. But Byrne sinks to new depths of depravity with women, liquor, and drugs.

Carly Montgomery is an ambitious record executive offered an opportunity to be manager for the last leg of Byrne’s tour. Though she’s detached and tough as nails, Carly’s cool façade comes under attack. Somehow Byrne manages to slip by her frosty defenses.

Brogan, for his part, is broken inside. A memory weighs on his soul and affects his actions. Is Carly the one woman to help him forget his guilt and heal his heart of rock?

REVIEW: Let me see if I can describe this story in one sentence….Best things come in small packages and this short, hot, sensual and unbelievably sweet love story is perfect summer read.

Have any of you seen Tom Cruise in his latest movie ‘Rock of Ages’? He played your typical 80’s Rock Star and oh. em. gee. did he do an awesome job! Well, our hero was just like that. He inoculates himself with drugs, drink and sex (not necessarily in that order) in order to keep his heart rock solid and from engaging it in any of his relationships, from his brothers, girlfriend, band mates. And then he hits the ‘rock bottom’ and it’s ‘do or die’ decision time….

Carly has been managing rock stars for a few years now, and stepping in to manage this mess of a man could either help or ruin her career, but she has no choice and if anything, she welcomes the challenge. Never would she dream that in doing her job, her heart would be involved to a point that she might get it broken….

As I said earlier, this is not a long read, but boy was it good. Karyn Gerrard can write erotic scenes as well as she can write the sweet and tender ones. If you are looking to be entertained with a love story filled with sensuality and tenderness all at the same time, grab this read when you head out to the beach, pool or even a road trip [as long as someone else is driving!]. You won’t be sorry and you’ll be highly entertained!

Here’s TC to get you in a mood for this story….

Now, relax, click here for some inspiration Karyn had in writing this story….and for your greatest enjoyment of this fun excerpt from ‘Heart of Rock’!

“Where the feck am I again?”

Looking at him, Carly shook her head. “Are you going to become one of those pathetic, burnt out, brain-fried bastards who need index cards wherever you go so you know what city you’re in?”

He interrupted her and in an uninterested tone explained, “Love, I always needed index cards to tell me what city I was in.”

She sighed in exasperation but continued, “We’re still in Philly in a private VIP lounge at the airport waiting on a flight to JFK. In New York. You have a concert in two nights, remember?”

“Far out,” Brogan mumbled in annoyance.

“Guess I’ll have to introduce myself again. Carly Montgomery. I’m your new manager. Byron quit last night. I suppose you don’t remember that, either.”

“No. I really don’t remember. The show went well, I suppose.”

“Yes, the concert went fine. What happened after the show caused the concern. You all but trashed the dressing room at the Spectrum. Your mess is going to cost a pretty penny, Nigel is not impressed.”

“Carly? How original. Copy Carly Simon, did you?”

He watched as her jaw set in annoyance. “I don’t copy anybody. My name is Cara, but my family has called me Carly since I could crawl — and why am I explaining this to you?”

Brogan blinked and had a good look at this infuriating-as-shite woman. She was no more than 5’3”, her hair was long and wavy, dyed some two-tone shade of black with bright red streaks throughout. She wore a skintight black leather skirt and sexy four-inch black pumps. A tight gold tiger-patterned sweater hugged her feminine curves. Under the six layers of makeup he supposed she was attractive enough, no raving beauty but adequate. Her voice, however, sounded like nails on a chalkboard.

“I don’t have to stay here. You can’t keep me. I’ll find my own feckin’ way to New York —”

Carly whistled shrilly through her teeth. The door to the private lounge swung open. A man as big as a Volkswagen with a human head on it stood before Brogan with his legs apart and tree trunk-sized arms crossed defiantly.

Carly’s laugh sounded smug and amused, which pissed him off further. “This is Giovanni. Gio gave you the cold shower, remember?”

He interjected again, this time more sarcastically, “Love, it’s not the first cold shower I ever had.”

“Regardless, he’ll be your shadow going forward. Gio will keep you in line. Make sure you’re a good boy and behave at the venues in future.”

“I need a drink.” Brogan snarled.

Carly inclined her head toward the counter. “There is fresh coffee in the pot, and some donuts in the box. That’s all you’re getting for now.”

Jaysus Christ. He clasped his hands together to keep them from shaking. He did need a drink — badly. Times like this, he wished he smoked. He could use a fag right now. He was sober for the first time in days. Well, he would try to stay somewhat lucid for the show itself. But after the concert was over he would put aside the few restraints. Stalking the stage and whipping the crowd into a wild froth wasn’t enough for him. He always needed more. His irritated gaze roamed over the huge man in front of him. Great. His own gorilla.

“Listen to me, Byrne. I’ve been around enough rockers these last three years to see the signs. Your own band can’t stand you. They went to Nigel. They will be around you only for prerequisite rehearsals and the show itself. The rest of the time? They don’t want to know you. They demanded separate travel and different hotels, though I can’t see that happening. You’re arrogant even to your own family and to your girlfriend,” Carly hesitated. “You don’t remember a thing, do you?”

Brogan Byrne didn’t know why he acted this way and didn’t know how to stop. This monster lived inside him, and it had resided there for a long time. The demon was a voracious beast. Even now it clamored and groaned. The beast wanted to be fed. The only thing quieting the fiend was drugs and sex. He needed some type of hit. He glanced over at Gio. If Tiny wasn’t here he could put the moves on this Carly. Jaysus, where did that come from?”

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Buy ‘HEART OF ROCK’ at Silver Publishing,  ALL ROMANCE, Amazon.

‘Timeless Love’ by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: 1969—Underworld enforcer Joey Indelli didn’t expect an English Regency Era carriage to appear before his very eyes in a thunderbolt of light. Inside he discovers a disoriented beauty, the honorable and delectable Catherine Worthington.

Catherine finds herself immediately attracted to her rough and very masculine rescuer but is determined to return to her home in 1821 Cornwall, England.

Seeing the carriage appear in front of him, Indelli believes her story but is convinced she has no choice but to stay in 1969.

Will the love that develops between them fade with their parting or somehow keep them together and prove…timeless?

REVIEW: This is my third book from Karyn Gerrard and let me tell you: I am now a full-fledged fan!

The above blurb is just a perfect bait to hook you to this story, but the story in itself is so well told that will have you laughing one moment, and wiping tears the next.

Ms. Gerrard is so good at giving us a hero that is rough and tough, yet tender, understanding and loving.

And as for the heroine, her innocence and beauty were so adorable that our hero had no chance!

This is a sequel to ‘Timeless Heart’ but you don’t have to read the first to follow the second, BUT you’d be missing on another fun and entertaining read if you don’t.

I really liked everything about this story. It was well written, character driven and fast paced.

This is an author that can weave an erotic AND sweet love story so well that will have you panting and sighing at the same time. If I were to give out stars, this would without a doubt be a FIVE star read! Way to go, Ms. Gerrard. I hope you tell us a couple of more stories from the carriage…like what happened to Baron Aidan Ashwood and Mr. Daniel McCubbin? And a driver Mr. Jonas Cook? I would love to find out their stories…

‘Christmas Memories’ by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: Jimmy is at the top of his game, but his life is empty. Karin has resigned herself to a Christmas alone in her wilderness lodge. A spur-of-the-moment holiday trip brings Jimmy to her doorstep on Christmas Eve. Will these new Christmas memories be enough to heal a painful past?

REVIEW: The short blurb above doesn’t do this short e-novella justice at all. Karyn Gerrard managed to pen such a touching story that will have you cry by the time you reach the HEA, and then wish for more!

Jimmy Doyle is a thirty-six year old actor/male model who is determined to ban Christmas this year and every year from now on. The reason behind it is very personal and haunting, not to mention painful to a point that just thinking of Christmas would have him in cold sweat trying to outrun the feeling of guilt.

When the chance, to literally ‘run away’ from the memories and all the ‘bullshit’ Christmas Season is bringing,  presents itself via a buddy’s invitation to an ‘all male card marathon’ getaway, he jumps at a chance to get himself ‘lost’ for a few days of male companionship.

Karin Kellegher runs the large lodge surrounded by smaller individual chalets with her father, who this Christmas will be spending with his brother at Vermilion Bay. She was glad of it and of the prospect of getting some extra money from the group of men that were about to arrive for their ‘male bonding’ weekend getaway.

Her Christmas Tradition of getting cozied up with her favorite music and movies of the season is something she was really looking forward to, so Jimmy Doyle and his ‘baggage’ was something she never expected to deal with, yet once she met the guy, she couldn’t help but be drawn to him.

‘Christmas Memories’ is one of those stories that in no time will be bringing to mind your own Christmas memories, and with that some tears at them and at the story itself.

The author has deftly managed to cram up a lifetime of happy and sad memories in this short story, which is heartbreaking as much as uplifting. The love story within was tender yet sensual, heartwarming and romantic. Just perfect for this time of the year!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend you read it this holiday season. It will have you thinking of your own Christmases past and hoping for good Christmas to come.

“Timeless Heart” by Karyn Gerrard

STORY: Sandra Cranston, an elementary teacher on leave, discovers an abandoned carriage deep in the woods. Inside is a man, Jerrod Ross, who fuels all of her wicked Regency dreams and fantasies.

Ross has been torn from the only world he has ever known—1821 Cornwall, England. How will he adjust to the future and his growing desire for the lovely lady who found him? More importantly, how will he ever return to his time?

REVIEW: Jude Deveraux‘s “Knight in Shining Armor” is my all time favorite time travel book and Diane Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series is a very close second, and while the movie “Kate and Leopold” is one movie I try never to miss when it’s on, the original “The Time Machine” with Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux has to be one of my all time favorite time travel movies.  I can freely state to all of you that if I was unattached and my hero showed up from another time, I wouldn’t even think twice at not going back with him! Cave man from the stone ages?!  I’ll let him drag me by my hair, as long as he loves me (and looks like Hugh Jackman)!

This book sounded very interesting, so I literally ‘stalked’ the author on so many blogs just so I could win a copy! I’m surprised she didn’t send the cops after me! Needles to say, I didn’t win, but I did buy it for my PC for Kindle and let me start of by saying: I’m so glad I did; get to Amazon and do the same!

Sandra Cranston is a chick on a self-imposed ‘sabbatical’ from her job as an elementary school teacher. One day as she’s returning from a picnic, her eye catches a site that gives her pause and spurns her on exploring it.

Jerrod Ross is a propertied Squire and a copper mine owner in the year of Our Lord 1821. The last thing he remembers is a dangerous carriage ride with few other passengers through lightning and storm. And now he’s looking at the woman with the most amazing eyes who’s telling him that this is the Year of Our Lord 2011!

This was so much fun to read. It’s a short novella, but it certainly doesn’t lack in romance, humor or sensuality. Our hero and heroine were equally hot, charming and witty that you can’t help but chuckle at their banter as well as fan yourself when they give in to their desire for each other! It will also leave you torn and in tears at the end as both of them know that neither wants to let the other go, but is that what true love is all about? Can they let go? Or will one decide to go with the other to the unknown… Get the book to find out! And just to get you in the mood for it, here’s a Trailer from “Kate and Leopold”…

 

 

And a Trailer from “The Time Machine”. I know, I know! It’s cheesy, but honestly, I just love this movie…